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Hampton Roads gearing up for Isaias during a pandemic

COVID-19 has changed how evacuation shelters will look across Virginia.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The coronavirus has changed how emergency management crews prepare for Hurricane Isaias.

Virginia Beach Fire Department Chief David Hutcheson explained they have high water vehicles ready to go for the storm and prepared during the pandemic.

“We know how to wear the PPE. We have to wear it all the time. It may get ramped-up depending on what else we’re dealing with; if it’s flooded waters, stuff like that. We might have to augment how we’re doing it but we have enough PPE to do that as well,” said Hutcheson.

Virginia Beach resident Tina Masters is concerned COVID-19 will change evacuation efforts.

“If people have to evacuate, I don’t know what they do," she said. "They have to move to a different location. I don’t know what the shelters [will do] in this circumstances.”

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management said locations are being sought out and how to keep shelters sanitized.

“It won’t necessarily be individual cots. There may be small pads that are put down that are easy to sanitize. So there are all of these things being looked at and most of them are being by locality themselves,” VDEM Deputy Director Jason Elmore.

VDEM also added to their Virginia Hurricane Evacuation Guide to include having extra Items to protect against the coronavirus.

Elmore emphasized Hampton Roads residents to know your flood zone.